Posted by: John Edwards | May 27, 2008

The WOF Trap

First let me say that I am very grateful for the teaching ministry of Kenneth Hagin and for most of what he taught me, especially along the lines of “Who I am In Christ” and how to be led by the Holy Spirit. I learned more during my time in the Word of Faith than at any other time in my journey of faith. But there were a couple of doctrines that I was taught than eventually did more harm than good for me and many others that caused me to exit the WOF. I had found myself caught in a trap, and what is worse is that I set the trap for thousands of others over the last few years.
Here is the trap: Confession Obsession, or as they say, “Calling those things which be not as they were”.
The crux of the WOF movement is found primarily in three scriptures. Mark 11:23, Roman 4:17 and Romans 10:9-10. These scriptures as found in the King James Version are the anchor, heart and soul of the WOF movement.
The WOF movement was started by a Baptist preacher named E.W. Kenyon. Brother Kenyon was also heavily influenced by some of the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement. He was also influenced by other teachers of what we call today New Thought or New Age. Brother Kenyon was not a Christian Scientist or New Ager, but he did agree with some of their teachings and used scripture to teach them. Later Brother Hagin began teaching directly from the writings of E.W. Kenyon, even copying many of his sermons word for word at length. In turn, thousands of Hagin’s followers preached the same message. A message of confession.
What we mean by confession is the act of calling things into your life, or changing your world with your words. You will have what you say. Jesus said that you can have what you say. That your words have creative power and will come to pass exactly as you believe them and speak them. The major teachers of this doctrine today are Charles Capps and Mark Hankins. (I’d like to say here that Mark Hankins is the very best teacher of Who We are In Christ that I have ever heard.) It is a very exciting message full of hope and possibilities, and I drank it in hook, line, sinker and boat! I have taught it all over the world and on TV.
If you will read those verses of scripture, at first reading they appear to mean exactly what the WOF teaches. But if you will “hear” these scriptures in CONEXT on a CD or tape you will get a different meaning altogether.
In Mark 11:23 Jesus was using a hyperbole, an on purpose exaggeration to make a point about faith. Most Greek scholars agree that this was a common way of Jesus’ style of preaching. He said you will have what you say to the mountain. He did not say that you will have everything that comes out of your mouth. He said, If you BELIEVE and DOUBT NOT……you will have what you said to the mountain. Of course the mountain is figurative of an obstacle, or maybe to the Temple Mount that represented the Law just as the sea is figurative. If Jesus had meant that you could have what you say just by speaking and believing it, then that truth and teaching would be all over the writings of Paul, Peter and James, etc. When Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake, and for his often infirmities, he did not tell him to confess that he was healed or to speak to the mountain.
I know myself of many WOFERS that will not admit to any symptom or problem in life for they are afraid that they will HAVE WHAT THEY SAY. Trouble is, they already have it! Next they will deny or ignore the problem or symptom which is exactly what Christian Science teaches. Jesus never denied the problem or the storm or the symptom. Neither did the Apostle Paul.
Words are very powerful. They can effect your mood and emotions, they can effect the people around you and even your body. But your words are NOT creative entities. Think about it. If confession worked as taught by WOFERS, they would all be rich,, healthy and living on Easy Street. But the sad truth is, many of the famous WOF teachers are experiencing the very same sicknesses, financial problems and storms that we all do. Brother Hagin suffered from heart disease for years. His wife suffered from cancer and dementia. His grandson had a brain tumor. His confession did not work for him or his family. E.W. Kenyon, the Master of Confession died of a massive tumor. His confession did not work. John Osteen died of kidney failure. His confession did not work. If these WOF superstars cant make it work, how are little pions like me gonna make it work?
I will tell you why it doesn’t work: Because their faith gets misplaced. The trap of WOF is that you slowly without realizing it slip into the trap of believing in your words instead of believing in God. You get wrapped up into your confession and get into fear and bondage. Instead of trusting God….you start depending on your own faith! You look to your words instead of to the Author and Finisher of your faith.
Also, many WOF teachers say that you can be the Prophet of your own life and destiny. That you shape or paint your future with your words. WOW! I screw up enough without trying! I’m the last person that I want in charge of my life and future! I would rather God be the prophet of my life. I would rather commit myself into His will and care than to try to mastermind my life through the speaking of words.
In Romans 4:17… was GOD that calleth things that be not as though they were, not old Abe. Check that in the Greek and other translations. It don’t line up with the WOF teaching which relies heavily on the wording of the King James Version to make the doctrine work in their favor. Also read, or rather listen to the whole tenth chapter of Romans and you will clearly hear that the context is the New Birth.
I have heard Bro. Hagin say many times…..that God said…..”Don’t ask me for the money for the money is down there on the earth, just claim what you need! Speak it into existence”. I have heard him testify about obtaining things like cars just by speaking out instead of asking God for them. Well, Jesus said “What things soever you desire, when you PRAY, believe that you receive them. I will stick with what Jesus actually said, not what some of these WOFERS say God said.


  1. Do you see what I see, do you hear what I hear. Finally someone who is willing to speak the truth. Just give me Jesus…

  2. Very interesting post. Great info to consider.


  4. This is a great post, John. It is good to go back to the roots of where error originated and then revisit scripture in the light of what it really means. It is so nice to be out of that trap!


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